We're waiting for snow in Nashville, and it has been falling for weeks in much of the country. There's a hush this weekend, and I found a moment of quiet. So I'm sending this letter a day early with recipes and a whole lot of love.
Valentine's Day, this year, seems like a celebration of collective survival, like we're linking arms to brave the apex of this pandemic together. Jill Biden is celebrating with giant hearts emblazoned with kindness and compassion on the White House lawn, and I'm grateful for that bit of gentleness.
Everyone is talking about "pandemic fatigue" right now, and it is real. Our adrenaline is running out, but it feels like we're just now cresting the top of the roller coaster, holding our breath for whatever comes next and trying to imagine life "after"... after covid, after working from home, after kids are back in school... assuming/hoping all of that comes to pass this year.
So I'm thinking about simple rewards today, gestures like Jill Biden gave us with a lawn full of cheesy, V-day yard signs that shout, "You're safe. You're loved. You're not alone."
A friend reported this week that she saw the first shoots of crocus and daffodils breaking through the ground at her house, and, in my backyard, camellias I planted over two years ago have started blooming for the first time, a shocking blast of red in the middle of winter.
A client bought herself a new pair of sneakers after wearing hers down with daily sanity walks through her neighborhood over the last year. Another puts on bright red lipstick under her mask each day, while others rig walking desks in their bedrooms, knit socks, start writing groups, sample meal delivery services, and nap with pets.
The crowning achievement of T.L.C. at my house this week? We replaced our 10-year-old plastic toilet handle with a gleaming, ceramic one. It cost $14, and the joy I feel every time I visit the bathroom now is immeasurable.
"You're safe. You're loved. You're not alone."
Spring may not seem like it is just around the bend, especially for those of us buried (or about to be buried) in snow, but daffodils are breaking ground. So while we wait:
What is one reward you need more of?
What is something you can give yourself that will impact your daily life for the better?
Who do you know that could use a phone call today or a little something in their mailbox?
Sending love and gratitude your way. Let's be gentle with ourselves and each other as we pick our way through what's left of winter.
Baked Feta with Broccolini, Tomatoes, & Lemon, French Onion Grilled Cheese, and Strawberry Spoon Cake? The New York Times' 19 Easy Recipes for Valentine's Day is less about V-day and more about comfort food—some of it healthy! There's something for everyone here, from vegan to meat eater, from appetizer to dessert. Let me know if you try some of these!!
Have I mentioned how much I love old ladies?! "Fitness TikToker Erika Rischko, 81, is proof that it’s never too late to try something new—and succeed. The mother of two and grandmother of one began regularly working out in her mid-50s when her daughter signed her up for a local gym." She's working out at home now, but it hasn't slowed her down. She told Good Morning America that she credits her success to eating fresh food, starting slowly, not doing anything extreme, and not counting calories. Advice for the ages.
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